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How to Leverage Your Intranet to Manage a Messy Google Drive

How to Leverage Your Intranet to Manage a Messy Google Drive

Cara Heimbaugh

4 mins read

Wed, Mar 6, '24  

The lifecycle of a file can take some pretty chaotic twists and turns. From being copied, duplicated, saved on local devices and across multiple cloud folders and linked back to from intranets or other sites, it’s easy to see how quickly Google Drive folders and structures can become disorganized, confusing, and just plain–messy. 

If this sounds like your organization, you’re not alone. One study found that 62% of respondents admitted to struggling and feeling overwhelmed or stressed due to their digital clutter, including disorganized file storage systems like Google Drive. Another study by IDC revealed that workers reported wasting up to 50% of their time searching for documents due to poor organization. And we all know that wasted time and added complexity is a tax on your resources. 

How does Google Drive Disorganization Originate?

Google Drives becoming this disorganized within organizations has become increasingly prevalent due to several factors. As companies grow, so does the volume of the digital assets they generate, leading to quickly cluttered storage spaces, especially for organizations that lack standardized naming conventions and folder structures across teams.

In addition, the decentralized nature of collaboration in Google Drive allows for multiple users to upload, edit, and move files independently, often without clear communication or coordination. The downside to this is that it hinders productivity and impedes efficient workflow within organizations.

Managing Google Drive Hygiene Frustrations

The first step an intranet can take in managing any Google Drive mess is to not add to the mess. Happeo takes this “do no harm” approach by storing all of our customers’ files in Drive, not in the intranet system itself. The reason why is simple: an intranet should not be a platform that adds an additional content or information silo. 

Many of our customers come to Happeo looking for an intranet, partially to help solve some of the pain that’s related to attempting to house and access all important company information in Drive. Many are worried that their Google Drives are “too messy” to even begin with an intranet project, but that’s not necessarily the case. 

Do we recommend regular and routine audits of Google Drive files to reduce complexity and confusion? Of course. But it isn’t a prerequisite for a dynamic intranet experience. In fact, an intranet can actually help solve–or at the bare minimum, assess–the hygiene of a customer’s Google Drive. 

Of course Google Drive hygiene matters, but it isn't an imperative to a successful intranet experience because Google Drive and a properly functioning intranet have vastly different purposes. And even if your file-storage situation is in desperate need of a cleanout, one of the best ways to solve this pain point for the average user is to shine a spotlight on what is most important. An intranet spotlight, to be exact.

Your Intranet is a Stage, and All the Files Merely Players

Imagine your Google Drive as a play being performed on a stage. There are really two perspectives when it comes to plays and productions: what the audience sees, and what the cast and crew see. Behind the curtain, there are props, curtain ropes, costumes, and folks scrambling to prepare all the actors for their next scene. But what the audience sees is a story. They see something they paid for, that is relevant to them, and that they understand in context. 

An intranet is really the stage (and spotlight) for the performance. A dynamic intranet serves up the proper files (actors) at the right time to the audience and the spotlight helps to shine the most light on the most important aspects during the entire lifespan of the performance. 

How Intranets Can Help with Google Drive Hygiene


Even the most pristine of Google Drives is lacking one thing that an intranet provides–context. An intranet brings order, prioritization, and  promotes discoverability in what would otherwise be chaos. It takes the information from your files and documents and hosts it in the form of pages, eliminating the need to browse through folders and surfacing what is most important in a relevant and digestible way. A Google Drive won’t do that work for you; only an intranet can do that. 


Further, by using an intranet to provide better searchability across Drive instances, organizations can begin to track analytically which resources are being leveraged, and which are likely ready for retirement or refreshing. So beyond simply cutting through the noise of a Google Drive to surface the most important information, a solid intranet can aid in the starting point of a Google Drive audit and purge, which can oftentimes feel too overwhelming to begin. 


When a user is rifling through folders and files, they likely have few clues as to which files and what information is reliable and up-to-date. They may look at publication date, owner, or file name and guess, but there’s no firm standard of authority within Google Drive, on top of providing a time-consuming and frustrating search experience. An intranet with intelligent search will be able to help users quickly identify which information is the most important based on what is posted by various teams within their pages, channels, and relevancy. 

An Intranet that Works With Your Drive–Regardless of its State

Happeo is the #1-rated, AI-powered intranet for Google Workspace organizations. Our Search AI feature is especially suited for companies knowing they need a way to centralize content and cut through the clutter, but are worried that their messy Google Drive situation is holding them back. 

Not only is a messy Google Drive not a reason to hesitate on an intranet solution, it’s a driver. The key is finding the intranet partner that has the dynamic and intuitive features and deep Google integration needed to find the most success. 

If you’re ready to get a handle on your organization’s knowledge management and productivity, we can help. Request a custom demo with one of our experts.